Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe {with free printable labels}

    Posted by  ·  September 3, 2014

    I love canning! When I see all the jars lined up I feel so productive.  A few years back I made homemade apple pie filling in a jar and it was a huge hit. I had to make it again and am sharing these cute canning labels for your homemade apple pie filling recipe! If you too like to can you must try my Harry and David Onion Pepper Relish knock-off recipe…..so yummy. Jam is also another fun item to make and I have printable strawberry jam labels. Can you believe you can even make strawberry jam with only three ingredients? It is not quite as sweet but doesn’t have all that added sugar. Homemade apple pie filling

    How to make canned apple pie filling

    It really isn’t hard to make this homemade apple pie filling recipe. Pick some apples and you are ready to get started. homemade canned apple pie filling recipe I love this apple peeler.  It only peels the apple which is important. Other models will peel, slice and core. However, for this recipe since the canning process is 25 mins, apple slices that are too thin turn mushy. apple peeler Peel and core all the apples.  I then slice each apple into about eight pieces. how to make canned apple pie filling

    How to keep apples from browning

    A great trick for keeping the apples from browning is to place them in a bowl of cold water along with three to five vitamin C tablets ( 500mg) that have been crushed.  This is really an important step because the apples do brown quickly and it takes time to peel all the apples. how to keep apples from browning

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    Homemade Apple Pie Filling Recipe

    Enjoy delicious apple pies all year long by canning apples in a delicious sauce! It isn't hard at all!

    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Keyword apples, canning
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 26 minutes
    Total Time 46 minutes
    Servings 48
    Calories 155 kcal
    Author Cindy


    • 6 quarts sliced fresh apples firm crisp apples are best(about 30 apples, if apples are small do a few extra)
    • 5 cups sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups Clear Jel
    • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
    • a couple pinches of salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 2 1/2 cups water
    • 5 cups apple juice no sugar added
    • 3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
    • 6 - 1 quart canning jars regular mouth


    1. Combine sugar, Clear Jel, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, salt and apple juice in a large pot. Stir and cook on medium-high heat until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

    2. Add drained apple slices to the sauce. 

    3. Fill jars with mixture, leaving 1 -inch headspace. I packed the jars with the apples and then divided sauce among the jars.

    4. Wipe jar rims clean, tighten lids and process immediately. Place jars in pot of water with water 1 inch above top of jar lids and boil for 25 minutes (For 0-1,000 ft altitude). Carefully remove from water and let jars cool 12 to 24 hours. Lids should be indented if properly sealed.

    Recipe Notes

    Clear Jel is a stable and safe thickener for canning. It won’t turn cloudy like sometimes cornstarch does.

    Clear Jel is not Sure-Jell. Sure-Jell is a natural fruit pectin used in making jams and jellies that allows you to use approximately one-quarter less sugar than normal, while still producing a jam that will set. 


    apple pie filling recipe Fill jars with mixture, leaving 1 -inch head space. I packed the jars with the apples and then divided sauce among the jars. how to can apple pie filling Wipe jar rims clean, tighten lids and process immediately. Place jars in a pot of water with water 1 inch above the top of jar lids and boil for 25 minutes (For 0-1,000 ft altitude). Carefully remove from water and let jars cool 12 to 24 hours. Lids should be indented if properly sealed.

    Printable canning labels

    Download the file and print in color on a solid sheet of sticker paper.  I email the file to my local copy shop and ask them to print in color on 1 Up label paper. Printable apple pie filling labels Cut out sticker and place on your homemade apple pie filling. What a delicious and useful homemade gift!

    {Printable homemade apple pie filling labels}

    canned apple filling labels

    The canned pie filling apples are a little soft for pie, but they make the most delicious Apple Crisp. They also work great for a rustic apple pie. Try Ina Garten’s Apple Crostata Recipe.

    Apple Crisp Recipe

    Mix together:

    3/4 cups old fashioned oats

    1/2 cup flour

    1/3 cup brown sugar

    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

    1/4 cup butter (use a 1/2 cup to make it over the top)

    Pour pie filling into a 9 X 13 pan (or smaller for thicker crisp). Spread topping on top of apples. Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes until bubbly.

    Serve warm with ice cream. Yum!



    Filed Under: Canning, Recipes  |  Tagged as:

    Leave a Comment


    1. Monday, February 1st, 2016
      So can you explain how to use your jarred filling in a pie? Like do you pour it into a baked or unbaked shell, and what would the baking times and temps be? Looks delicious and I want to try this!
      • Cindy
        Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
        Hi Ronda,
        Rhonda, The way I love to use it best is to make a fruit crisp. Just make this apple crisp topping and put ontop the jar of apples and bake. YUM! You can also pour the filling into a prebaked pie shell. Add the crisp topping for an apple crumb pie. Normally for an apple pie, you do not bake the crust first. However, these apples have been processed for 25 minutes in the canning process, so they are already cooked and need a shorter baking time when being used. For a pie, I would put into the pre-baked shell and top with the apple crisp topping and bake for 20 mins at 350. The homemade filling is also good in bar cookies, cinnamon rolls, coffee cake..... anytime apple pie filling is suggested use this homemade filling.
    2. Kate
      Thursday, November 6th, 2014
      Hi- Not sure if I will get a response here.. but if anyone else has made this recipe feel free to chime in! I really want to try this out- Many people have asked -and as far as I can see not gotten a response =/ But is there a substitute for clear jel? I really want to try this, but it seems that it's difficult to find.. I will use the clear jel if I can find it, but would like to have a back up idea. Also, perhaps b/c I'm not familiar with the product- But 1 1/2 cups seems like a lot! Some people have mentioned that the sauce is really thick- which is what I would expect.
      I certainly don't want to waste all these big beautiful apples I have, so I would appreciate the confirmation! Thanks!! :)
      • Cindy
        Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
        Kate, you can substitute cornstarch for the clear jel. It works the same way, however, the clear gel will stay clear and not cloud over time.
    3. Dolly Hanley
      Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
      What is clear gel
    4. Cathy Rogers
      Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
      Got your recipe off of pinterest... Love the flavor of the sauce that goes on the apples... i made 9 qts and when i prosseced them the seals popped off 3 and the sauce came out from under the seals when i took them out.. i don't know that they will seal.. i filled them 1 in from the top. Kinda puzzled here, never had that happen in the 40 years i been canning... Thank you. by the way i love your blog... i live on 300 a farm and we have cattle, horses and row crops also, fruit trees and big gardens.. i can everything and freeze everything i can get my hands on. Raised 5 children and now have 8 grands (s0 far) I will be reading your blog often, thanks again...
    5. Debbie Baxter
      Monday, October 13th, 2014
      Have everything ready to go except I forgot lemon juice. Is it a MUST ingredient??
      • Cindy
        Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
        Debbie, yes lemon juice is very necessary. It gives the mixture acid to keep it safe for canning.
    6. Christine
      Sunday, October 12th, 2014
      What size bottle of lemon juice?
      • Cindy
        Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
        Christine, you use 3/4 Cup of bottled lemon juice. It must be bottled. Bottled lemon, unlike fresh lemon juice, has a consistent acidity. This is needed for the canning process.
    7. Renee - New Canner
      Thursday, October 9th, 2014
      Where did you find your apple peeler? The one I have peels, cores, and slices the apples. Thanks for your help:)
      • Cindy
        Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
        Renee, I actually found that one at Harbor Freight.
    8. Debra Ross
      Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
      I want to make this today and I'm new to canning. With the 1 1/2 cups of clear gel does that just mean that much powder or pre mixed and already gelled? I know this is probally a very silly question.

      Thank you, Debra
      • Cindy
        Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
        Hi Debra, use it powdered.
    9. paulette
      Sunday, September 28th, 2014
      Made this..just baked a pie today and it was great. I did use Stevia for sugar, using the same amount as listed. It was great..set great. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
    10. Sandy Tynes
      Saturday, September 27th, 2014
      Where can you find clear jell.
    11. Saturday, September 20th, 2014
      Please tell us what we can use for a substitute for the clear gel
    12. Phyllis Sprague
      Friday, September 19th, 2014
      Could you please tell me if Clear Gel can be used with any other canning recipes. Also on the apples do you suggest Granny Smith Apples ?
    13. Penny
      Monday, September 15th, 2014
      How thick is the syrup suppose to be? I could not pour mine, it was too thick. Did I cook it too long--should I cut back on the amount of clear jel?
    14. kim hocutt
      Sunday, September 14th, 2014
      what is clear jel & i need see the picture plz... :) thanks
    15. Penny
      Sunday, September 14th, 2014
      How thick is the sauce suppose to be? Mine was so thick I could not pour it. I followed the recipe and went ahead a mixed the apples with it and canned it, but I don't think I will be able to pour it out of the jars. I want to make more but need to know what I did wrong. Thanks
    16. TRISH
      Sunday, September 14th, 2014
      Thanks for the recipe this looks great! can you use orange juice instead of lemon juice? thanks
    17. Denise Linjanen
      Saturday, September 13th, 2014
      I found a product "ultra gel " would this be the same as the Clear Gel? I found it in the baking section of the grocery store. I also live at over 4000 ft so hoe much time do I need to add to the water bath time?
      thank you,
    18. Nancy
      Saturday, September 13th, 2014
      I can't wait to try this. I looks so easy. And I just love to can anything.
    19. Tina
      Saturday, September 13th, 2014
      What is the shelf life after canned?
    20. Denise Linjanen
      Saturday, September 13th, 2014
      I can not find the clear Gel at my local stores. I did find a product called Ultra Gel? in the baking isle. Is this the same product just a different name for it.
      • Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
        Ultra gel is not the same, but the company that makes it also makes a Clear Gel called Thickgel.
    21. Devan
      Friday, September 12th, 2014
      What is the apple peeler you used? Love this can't wait to try. Thanks so much:)
    22. Devan
      Friday, September 12th, 2014
      What is the apple peel
    23. Sheila Palkowitsh
      Friday, September 12th, 2014
      This sounds really good
    24. Melissa
      Thursday, September 11th, 2014
      Do you know where you found that apple peeler?
    25. Elizabeth S
      Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
      I make my strawberry jam in a similar fashion, boiling the cans at the end, waiting 24 hours, etc. I then freeze most of the cans. Can you freeze the Apple pie filling? How long of a shelf life/freezer life do this have? Can't wait to make it!
      Can't wait to make them
    26. Teri Ferguson
      Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
      Clear jel is not available where I live, is there a substitute??

    27. doreen
      Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
      can you put them in a pressure cooker instead of the boiling water bath?
    28. Janet
      Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
      Can this pie filling be frozen?
    29. Amanda
      Monday, September 8th, 2014
      I live at 3000 ft above sea level, how long would I let the jars boil?
    30. Monday, September 8th, 2014
      Definitely going to try this! I usually freeze my apple pie mixes but would love to can it. What is the name of that peeler? I only have the one that peels, slices & cores.
    31. Rose
      Monday, September 8th, 2014
      If you read the recipes all way down it tell you how many jars you need for this recipes!
    32. Patty
      Monday, September 8th, 2014
      Is there a substitute for the clear jel ?
    33. Monday, September 8th, 2014
      This looks so good Cindy! I would sure love to open my cupboards and see a few of these in the winter!
    34. Nikki
      Saturday, September 6th, 2014
      Definitely going to try this!!! Looks delicious ! Great gift idea! On eve canned how long can they be stored?
    35. Kandace
      Friday, September 5th, 2014
      is there a substitute for the Clear Jel? would like to make this weekend and do not have it.
    36. Suzanne
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      I'm super excited about the strawberry jam recipe! Thank you for that link.
    37. Kay
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      This looks fantastic! One question though, please clarify, did you cook the apples in the sauce prior to canning?

      Can't wait to try this.

      • Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
        Hi Kay, the apples are raw when you put into the sauce. They will cook in the canning process. Please let me know how it goes!
    38. Kristen
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      Oh my! Just read commentsa above. Sorry!
    39. Kristen
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      I LOVE to can! Thanks so much for this recipe. I will definitely be trying as soon as I can get my hands on some apples. I may have missed, but approximately how many jars does this recipe make? And what type of apples did you use?
      Thanks again for sharing :)
      • Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
        Hi Kristen, I am not sure what type of apples. They are very firm and slightly tart to I would assume Granny Smith type. We picked them from a neighbor's tree. Since the canning process is 25 minutes I think firm apples are best for this recipe.
    40. Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      Oh that looks delicious!! I was also wondering how many jars one recipe made?
      • Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
        This made six, quart jars. They were regular mouth, not wide mouth jars.
      • Thursday, September 4th, 2014
        I updated the post, it makes six, quart jars. Thanks everyone!
    41. Amelia
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      I always give canned goods as Christmas presents, this is perfect! What size jar do you use to equal one pie's worth of filling and how many jars with the recipe make? I can't wait to try it!
      • Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
        Each 1 quart jar of apple pie filling will make one pie. It also makes amazing filling for a crisp.
    42. Meghan
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      How many jars did the recipe make? This looks fabulous.
    43. Becky
      Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
      Looks yummy!
      How many jars did the recipe make?